Irene*, a local senior who participates in our Friends & Family senior assistance program, comes from a history of Alzheimer’s. In fact, the terrible disease claimed the life of Irene’s mother.

With heightened risk of developing the disease herself, Irene became increasingly aware of any warning signs, and feared she would slowly deteriorate without having anyone by her side.

She had the courage to ask GRACE for help with a volunteer match to provide companionship, and regular phone calls to check in with Irene and make sure her mental clarity was still sharp.

On her narrowly-fixed income, she knew an early onset familial analysis was not an affordable option. So when she came across a study that offered free testing for qualified candidates, she was eager to be considered. Irene had no transportation, however, and was not able to make the trip to Fort Worth alone.

Friends & Family Coordinator, MaryAnn Waddell made a plea to meet this specific need, and three wonderful volunteers stepped up with no hesitation.

First was Leanne Lee, who drove Irene to the UNT Health Sciences Center in Fort Worth for initial testing. This particular appointment required hours of patiently waiting. Irene did qualify for the testing, and met Laura Powell, who drove her to get her MRI. Lastly, Doug Canter drove Irene to the hospital for lab work and final testing.

It might not seem as essential or pressing to some, but the takeaway from this example can’t be missed that confidence in her mental health made a profound impact on her.

What’s more, Irene now knows that no matter what the outcome, GRACE is there to provide advocacy, emotional strength, emergency assistance and friendship.

Thanks to the selfless volunteers who made it a priority to show Irene her value.

Do you have a heart for seniors? To the extent that you are available to volunteer there are various ways to help the senior population through GRACE.

  • Host a Collection Drive
    • Adult diapers
    • Ensure
    • Walkers and wheel chairs
    • Clothing
  • Host a Food Drive for the Food Pantry
  • Drivers
    • Committed drivers and substitute drivers to take seniors to appointments, the grocery store, etc. (volunteers are given ample notice)
    • Delivery Drivers to deliver groceries from the Food Pantry twice a month
  • Phone Friend
    • This volunteer simply calls a senior on a weekly or regular basis to check in and chat
  • Pay Regular Visits
    • Sort mail and bills
    • provide companionship to seniors
  • Get ideas and resources from Friends & Family Coordinator, MaryAnn Waddell.

*Name changed to preserve client identity